By Andrea Romano
March 15, 2019
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eBay can be a treasure trove of hidden gems, but you might never expect to find something of personal sentimental value to you.

One woman in the U.K. found something back in January that was very special to her and her family. Trudy Shillum, a graphic designer from Glasgow, was looking up her family history when she saw a rare family artifact on the online bidding site, Metro reported.

She said that by simply searching her name and a town that her family was from, she found a listing for vintage postcards that were sent to her late grandparents by a family friend in 1936, each for £3.49 ($4.63 USD).

She purchased the postcards, and posted about them on Facebook and her personal blog. It’s unclear how the seller came to possess the cards, but according to the Metro, they appear to buy and sell vintage postcards as a trade.

“I was freaked out and excited at the same time to find it,” Shillum wrote on her blog. “How on earth did it end up for sale on a international marketplace and also how did I manage to discover it amongst the (actual stat) one billion things on Ebay?”

The postcards themselves contain fairly everyday conversation, including some well wishes on her grandparents’ anniversary, but it means the world for Shillum to have them again.

According to her blog, both Shillum and her late grandfather have a passion for finding old treasures.

“He loved finding things on the street, going to jumble sales and discovering bargains in junk shops. Grandad made up for lack of monetary riches with a wealth of generosity,” she wrote. “I’m not crediting myself with having inherited any of these noble qualities from him but the treasure hunter gene is one I most definitely have.”

Family heirlooms can be an important window into personal and world history. For example, a pocket watch that was sold at auction in 2018 may have looked unassuming to the naked eye, but actually belonged to someone aboard the Titanic.